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News Nearby: Murder Conviction Upheld; Bribery 'Common,' Official Says

Here's a look at top Patch stories from around Cartersville, the region and state.

Murder Conviction Upheld in Violent Home Invasion Killing - Douglasville Patch

A unanimous Georgia Supreme Court has upheld the 2005 murder, kidnapping and burglary convictions of Justin Brown, one of four men involved in a violent home invasion robbery and murder resulting in the death of 18-year-old J.R. Morrow, according to Douglas County District Attorney David McDade. Douglasville Patch has the full story.

– Cartersville Patch

A former Bartow magistrate clerk has been accused of stealing money from the county for more than two years.

Penny D. Blackmon, 52, now of Lawley, AL, was arrested by a Bartow County Sheriff's Office deputy yesterday about 2:30 p.m., Sgt. Jonathan Rogers said.

Blackmon faces 116 counts of theft by taking from a government employee for alleged thefts spanning from January 2003 to August 2005, according to the indictment, which was handed down by Bartow's August grand jury in case specially presented by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Visit Cartersville Patch for more on this story.

Former Gwinnett County Commissioner Says Bribery Was 'Common'Suwanee Patch

Former Gwinnett County Commissioner Shirley Lasseter has said in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that bribery was a common practice in Gwinnett County.

Lasseter, whose district included Suwanee, is slated to enter federal prison soon after pleading guilty and being sentenced to serve 33 months in prison for accepting bribes in 2011 from an undercover FBI agent to approve a proposed development in her commission district. Visit Suwanee Patch for more on this story.

South Paulding Band Advances in Radio Contest – Dallas-Hiram Patch

One local high school remains in an Atlanta-based radio show’s contest that will give one school’s marching band $5,000.

The band of South Paulding High School has advanced in The Bert Show’s "Battle of the High School Marching Bands." It was one of 28 high school bands to begin the contest; the first round of online voting ended Sunday night, and South Paulding earned more votes than Woodland High to move on to the second round of 16 schools. Follow Dallas-Hiram Patch for updates.

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